Our Last Day in Labrador with a quick foray back into Quebec

Rte 510 S (paved and comfortable)

Location: Northern Light Inn, L’Anse Au Clair, NL, CA

Food: Restaurant within hotel

Joke of the Day:

It was time for the annual Christmas children’s pageant. They had practiced many times, and when the choir sang, “and the angel lit the candle,” the youngest actor dressed as angel was to come out and light the candle on the set.

On the night of the pageant, the choir sang, “And the angel lit the candle.”

But no angel appeared.

The choir sang again, a little more loudly this time, “And the angel lit the candle.”

Still no angel appeared.

A third time the choir intoned, “AND THE ANGEL LIT THE CANDLE.”

This time a small voice from backstage sang out, “and the cat peed on the matches.”

These are the jokes, folks.

brilliant day

After a pleasant breakfast of my leftover Caribou steak, which they kept overnight, and coffee, we drove over to Our Lady of Labrador for mass. The priest welcomed us as we entered, and remembered us throughout the mass. He was a kind (we’re guessing Filipino) man, and when the mass was ended, he invited us to tea and gave us a print of the mural behind the altar.

Not able to stay for tea, we hit the road to visit Capstain Island and L’Anse au Loup.

As we drove through Capstain Island, which isn’t an island, we wondered, “What’s a Capstain?” According to the Labrador Coastal Drive pamphlet, it is "a sturdy wooden post and handle, mounted in a stabilizing frame, used to wind-in a rope or cable. The capstan pulled a line attached to the door of a seal net, or trap, that stretched to the mainland capturing seals on their spring migration."

We found L’Anse au Loup charming, but didn’t stick around long. We spent more time exploring the harbour of L’Anse -Amour.

Mooring Line

Next up was the Point Amour lighthouse where we enjoyed a foggy picnic in the car; it was too chilly to eat outside.

View from the Top

Thick walls and tiny windows

More fog

Weathered hardware

Still unsure as to why, but the lighthouse was free (typically $3 / adult). It was quite charming, and the docent was friendly and attentive. She walked us and another family up the stairs to the light room, which has the original Fresnel light.

Of course, it was still foggy ... so we couldn’t see anything except the Fresnel lens. It is the tallest working lighthouse on the Atlantic, and she told a terrifying tale of a past visitor touching the lightbulb, which then exploded in their hand. Ouch!

The lavatories are at the craft shop down the road. It’s worth a few minutes, but I wouldn’t put all your souvenir eggs in that basket.

Naively, we thought the next town on our stop would provide much greater diversity in souvenir shopping. Forteau disappointed.

Not only was it Sunday so everything was closed, but we couldn’t find much in the way of gin. Just teasing, we couldn’t find anything in the way of a cafe, restaurant, souvenir, gasoline ... you name it.

Fly fishing on a beautiful day abounded. I've always wanted to try fly fishing, but this, sadly, wasn't going to be the time for learning.

ice skates

Disappointment in check, we drove to L’Anse-au-Clair. After checking in, we drove over to the Visitor’s Center. Clearly we’d done the trip backwards because this is the “gateway” to Labrador, and all the materials you’ll need for any section of the province can be found here, unlike other tourist centers that cater to their town or area of the province.

As we had a few hours of daylight left, we asked about the road into Quebec. According to our map, the road ends in Vieux-Fort. When my mom asked the guy at tourist information center, he replied, “We don’t do much with Quebec.” When pressed, he said, “I think there’s a waterfall over there.”

There is. About thirty minute drive into Quebec brings you to a waterfall (and a lot of flies). There is a small parking area near the waterfall, and on one side of the bridge there is a public viewfinder / telescope for better investigation.

Beyond the fog

We didn’t complete the drive. We got bored. It is pretty, though, and just across the border into Quebec (across the border from L’Anse-au-Clair, in Blanc Sablon) is a grocery store that has a limited supply of wine. Limited being the word. They also claimed to sell beer, but I didn’t see any. I did see 50 lb. bags of potatoes, however.

The grocery store also carried coolers. Small ones, like our, ran about $3.50 each; large ones, the more typical size, were around $5. [Note: this is July 2010.]

Back at the hotel, we had a nice dinner (the scallops really are as good as the menu claims ... this coming from someone who isn’t big on scallops to begin with), and went off to bed. Tomorrow it was up and off to Newfoundland!

A word on Canadian coffee, it’s good. The wine may be crap, but at least you can rest assured that in the morning a decent to delightful cup of joe awaits ... somewhere. It may not be in your room, but it won’t be far away. And remember to keep an eye out for boiled water advisories.

Created By
Meredith Rendall


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